Melanie Holbrook



Reflection: the intentional consideration of an experience in light of particular learning objectives. As I’ve taken the time to reflect on my service-learning course, I’ve learned a lot about myself along with having had epiphanies about my career.

Throughout the course our class focused on nonprofit organizations located on the west side of Salt Lake City. From September to November, we had to write four stories about four different organizations; this process included research and interviews with multiple sources.

It sounded like a simple process to me at first, but contacting sources can be difficult. People may not get back to you, their schedules may be too busy for an interview or they may have trouble answering your questions the way you’d like. Our stories also required multimedia assets. My beats pertained to organizations helping youth, which then raised another problem of permission of taking pictures of children.

A lot of times you’ll come across organizations not allowing photos to be taken, which is a problem some of my peers and I encountered.

These occurrences drew epiphanies about my career. Gathering all the information and placing the puzzle pieces together to write a great story is hard.

Another epiphany and aspect I learned about myself is the concept of giving your reader total background about what you’re writing about. I found that in my writing I’ll use vague words such as “activities” or “things.” What sort of things? What sort of activities?

As I write it out and as some may read, it sounds obvious: of course you can’t be vague with your readers. But that’s something I learned. I was OK with doing it and now have learned not to do it.

About myself, I learned that I still have some brushing up to do with my grammar, punctuation and knowledge of AP style. In order to be successful and a great journalist, I need to know it in my sleep, no excuses.

I knew I loved talking and getting to know people, but reporting for these stories proved that fact even more. The people behind the scenes of these nonprofits are amazing people, they are working solely to help others. I absolutely loved interviewing people and being able to inform myself and readers about these organizations.

I want to inform people the best I can, to let them know every detail of what’s going on and what’s out there.

A journalist’s career is tough, but I want to stick with it and pursue this career.


Originally from San Francisco, I’ve lived in Salt Lake City now for three years. I plan to graduate with my major, mass communication/journalism, and my Spanish and international studies minors. With the help of great professors and internships at ABC 4 News and Salt Lake magazine I’ve developed a love for writing and reporting. I’d love to eventually report for art, music and fashion. I love talking with people and finding out what their story is.

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